Every year, around the middle of October, two things are always the same. The trees turn from green to an amber-gold, and the halls of Robarts are suddenly overrun with sweat-pant clad co-eds cramming into to elevators, sleeping on benches, and generally taking up residence in the university’s largest study space. With this in mind, and midterms fully underway, I decided it was time to make note of certain rules of order. All in all, midterms are a time of stress, anxiety and selfishness, but as long as we all play fair we can survive them together, or at least until finals.
◆ The university libraries have a huge supply of resources, from books, to articles, rare edition texts, films and more. As a student, your right is to have full access to these texts as it pertains to your academic pursuits. But one must always remember that for this system to work, certain protocol must be followed. First, please do not re-shelve your own books. This leads to a mess and disrupts a really complicated system, which takes a graduate degree to master and a full time staff to maintain. Just let the professionals do their job. Second, return your books on time. The whole idea of a library is based on sharing, so please remember, share punctually.
◆ Reading rooms, by their nature, are designed to be silent. Listening to your headphones at full volume in a silent room is not as discreet as you may think. Your dubstep/electro/house/techno music should be kept at a volume audible to you and nobody else, which, after all, is the entire purpose of headphones.
◆ The group study rooms are designed to prevent the aforementioned noise issue, and should be used by groups of people. As nice as it is to spread out your things, eat at will, sleep when you need to, and camp out all day, people have to work on group projects. This is the perfect place for complete strangers to talk and get their work done, without awkwardly having to go over to each other’s houses.
◆ Sleeping in the library is acceptable, as long as it remains off the first four floors. As every student who has ever truly crammed knows, napping is a key success maneuver to pull through the final leg of memorization. Therefore, sleeping is fine, if, and only if, it is done in a space where there is plenty of available seating. I would recommend the 11–13th floors where the cubicles are a-plenty and the noise is less than a decibel.
The first-floor computers are for homework, printing, or quick e-mails. Please do not investigate your Facebook, or similar social networks, when there is a line. You are more than welcome to spend all day chatting with your aunt about her knitting, or whatever else you please, at the non-peak hours when students are not anxiously waiting in line to print their essays due in less than 10 minutes.